Systematic reviews

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EEG, CT scan and MRI as diagnostic tools for ADHD in population between 6 and 19 years: a systematic review

Evaluación del electroencefalograma, tomografía computarizada y resonancia magnética como métodos diagnósticos para déficit atencional en población entre 6 y 19 años: revisión sistemática


Introduction: Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is generally diagnosed based on the criteria of DSM-IV. Because several diagnostic tests have appeared such as electroencephalography (EEG), CT scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), there is a particular interest in determining the usefulness and diagnostic accuracy of these tests for the diagnosis of ADHD. Purpose: To identify, synthesize and evaluate the best available evidence on the usefulness of EEG, CT and MRI as a diagnostic tool in ADHD in the 6-19 year-old population. Methods: A systematic review of studies on diagnostic tests that assessed the validity, reliability and effectiveness of the implementation of EEG, CT and MRI in the diagnosis of ADHD in the 6-19 year-old population was conducted. Searches were done in PubMed/MEDLINE, LILACS, Cochrane, DARE and National Guideline Clearinghouse databases, until February 2012, in English and Spanish. The articles that met the inclusion criteria were independently assessed by two investigators for methodological quality using standard checklists for review articles and diagnostic test articles. Results: Of the 115 studies found, eight studies were included, among which two medium-quality systematic reviews and a good-quality primary article on diagnostic tests. Additionally, five evidence-based clinical guidelines that address this issue were also included. Conclusions: The available evidence on the validity, reliability and effectiveness of the electroencephalogram, computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, does not recommend their use as diagnostic tools for ADHD. Clinical practice guidelines do not recommend their use either. These tests are recommended for the assessment of the individual patient with the disorder.